“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the creation and distribution of photographs and videos of our members during a nude scene,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association. “Whoever did this knew not only that they were filming actors without their consent, but also that they were explicitly violating the theatre’s prohibition on recording and distribution.”
Williams is starring in a revival of “Take Me Out,” Richard Greenberg’s exploration of what happens when a Major League Baseball superstar comes out as gay, tracing the way it unsettles the team and unleashes toxic prejudices. Williams earned a Tony Award nomination Monday for playing the superstar.
Second Stage Theater, which is producing the revival, has been using Yondr pouches to protect the actors. Audience members arriving at the theatre surrender their phones which are then put in the locked pouches until the end of the show. The company said it would beef up security in the wake of the violation.
“Taking naked pictures of anyone without their consent is highly objectionable and can have severe legal consequences,” Second Stage said. “Posting it on the internet is a gross and unacceptable violation of trust between the actor and audience forged in the theatre community. We are actively pursuing takedown requests and ask that no one participates in the distribution of these images.”
Theatre actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson also shared his anger about the video leak. In a Twitter post, he wrote, “I’m appalled by the disrespect shown to the actors of our company whose vulnerability on stage every night is crucial to Take Me Out. Anyone who applauds or trivializes this behaviour has no place in the theatre which has always been a safe space for artists & audience members.
I’m appalled by the disrespect shown to the actors of our company whose vulnerability on stage ever night is crucia… https://t.co/pAro52mdKz
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (he/him/his) (@jessetyler) 1652221618000
In the meantime, fans of the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star have been having a field day on Twitter, sharing their honest relations to the video leak. While some posted hilarious memes, others shared clips of his character Dr. Jackson Avery from the hit show.
Dr. Jackson Avery …. #JesseWilliams https://t.co/ALMB3o1oia
— Yolanda Lewis (@TheLewisEffect) 1652147370000
this scene now makes so much sense #JesseWilliams #JacksonAvery https://t.co/tj0TQBUsM1
— Grey’s Anatomy (@The_GreyMethod) 1652217849000
What kinda broadway shows they got going on #JesseWilliams https://t.co/tPaM61xNSz
— Sacred Ink ✨✍ (@__Dezzieeee) 1652233297000
I haven’t been to a Broadway show in years. I guess now is a good time to start back up. #JesseWilliams https://t.co/HNoEW54jvI
— Katrina ️️ (@dazzlegal) 1652150817000
To whomever snuck that video of Jesse Williams…..not all heroes wear capes. #JesseWilliams https://t.co/U3bHtHns2T
— SONTIA (@IMASIZESEXY) 1652156948000
I’m just sooo curious as to know who snuck a camera in and leaked the video of #JesseWilliams you are a loved!! https://t.co/8bN8N0LBlX
— KingofKarens (@KingofKarens) 1652162680000
everybody rn after seeing #JesseWilliams leaked picture https://t.co/8Hd83t5nHh
— Taylor ❤️ (@duhhhitstayy) 1652152714000
Appearing on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Williams spoke about his decision to get naked on stage.
“I’ve learned in my minutes of theatre, it’s all a first for me, don’t start trying to read into it because it’s all an insecurity. I’m told it’s quite insane [to be nude in a stage debut], but it’s a first so I have nothing to compare it to. I won’t be scared of anything after this, that’s for sure,” the actor said.
He added, “Everyone around me as going ‘Are you sure? Nude nude? Actually naked, naked? Full frontal? It’s a body. Once you see it you realise, ‘Whatever, it’s a body’. I just have to not make it a big deal. I only know from my experience but I just get it over with.”
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